4/2/2014 5:03 P.M. ET
Opening Day at Dodger Stadium launches Opening Weekend presented by Bank of America
By / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES - Opening Weekend, a weekend-long celebration, begins with Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on Friday, April 4. The Dodgers will face their longtime rivals the San Francisco Giants at 1:10 p.m. in the first game of a three-game series. The Dodgers remind fans to carpool, arrive early and they are encouraged to utilize the many transportation alternatives that serve Union Station and will connect them to the Dodger Stadium Express which will operate starting at 10:00 a.m. through 45 minutes after the game. Auto and stadium gates open early at 10:00 a.m. Opening Day pregame entertainment throughout the stadium begins at 10:00 a.m. and on-field pregame ceremonies begin at 12:00 p.m. Opening Day is sold out.
"We are very excited to welcome back all of our fans to the start of 2014 Dodger baseball Friday at Dodger Stadium," said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. "We want to thank the fans for their loyalty and support through the years. I look forward to visiting with you as I make my way in the stadium throughout the season."
Opening Day will feature a special ceremonial first pitch. The national anthem will be performed by the LA Opera trio of bass James Creswell, tenor Joshua Guerrero and bass Stephen Powell. The talented trio currently performs in LA Opera's production of "Lucia Di Lammermoor." Representatives from the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard will present our nation's colors. California Highway Patrol members and its cadets will join Armed Forces members representing the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard in unfurling a giant flag in center field. Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda will officially begin the game with "It's Time for Dodger baseball!" Former Dodger broadcaster Ross Porter will serve as honorary PA announcer. Porter spent 28 seasons with the Dodgers starting in 1977 and was the host of "Dodger Talk" for 14 years.
A special Opening Day video will also be part of pregame ceremonies. The USC Trojan Marching Band (TMB) directed by Dr. Arthur C. Bartner, who has led the band for 44 years, will also perform prior to Friday's game. The USC Trojan Marching Band was founded in 1880, has traveled to every USC Football game since 1987 and performs more than 300 engagements each year. The band has visited 16 countries, is frequently featured in movies and on television and has performed at the Grammy and Academy Awards shows. It is the only collegiate marching band in the country with two platinum albums for its work with Fleetwood Mac.
Also as part of pregame ceremonies, U.S. Navy Leap Frogs will perform an aerial jump into Dodger Stadium from a C-130 aircraft. The United States Navy Parachute Team is part of the United States Naval Special Warfare Command (NSW), headquartered at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego. The team is composed of approximately 10 personnel including Navy SEAL and SWCC operators, a parachute rigger, a corpsman, a mass communication specialist and a civilian safety officer and the team is commanded by a Navy officer, usually a Navy SEAL.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Dodgers and Bank of America will pay tribute to the men and women of our nation's Armed Forces by honoring a "Veteran of the Game." Opening Day's veteran of the game is U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Hunter Holmes, the winner of the Dodgers' annual Veterans Day Batting Practice Day hitting contest. Holmes enlisted in 2006, served four years active duty and is in his fourth year as an Active Reservist serving with the 452nd Force Support Squadron whose duties are to boost the morale, welfare and combat readiness of airmen and their families in addition to directing mortuary affairs by ensuring that all the fallen and their effects are accounted for properly and respectfully as they are returned home to the U.S. Holmes has served at numerous bases stateside as well as deployments to Germany, Italy and served two tours to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His accolades include Tyndall Air Force Base Airman of the Year and two achievement medals.
The Dodgers will provide entertainment as soon as gates open at 10:00 a.m. in the right and left field reserve plaza areas as well as in the newly enhanced right and left field pavilion plaza areas which feature the Budweiser and Bud Light bullpen overlook bars. All fans are invited to enjoy musical entertainment provided by Dixieland band Angel City in the left field reserve plaza and classic rock music by The Trip in the right field reserve plaza.
In the left and right field pavilion plaza areas, there will be balloon makers, face painters, caricature artists and plenty of Dodger photo opportunities with Dodger memorabilia, including five-foot diameter World Series rings, an eight-foot replica of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, a life-size statue of the iconic Farmer John Dodger Dog, interactive replicas of the 76 ball and various bobbleheads. "Sweet" Lou Johnson will sign autographs for fans in the left field pavilion plaza area and Kenny Landreaux will hold an autograph session in the right field pavilion plaza area.
Fan service stations, located in field level sections 52 and 53, loge level sections 152 and 153, reserve level sections 31 and 32 and top deck section 1, are accessible to all fans. Guests can offer feedback and get general information. Additionally, these stations offer helpful services including earplugs for fans, the Anheuser-Busch Good Sport Designated Driver program, first game certificates, birthday buttons, child seat location wristbands to help prevent children from getting lost, a lost and found program and assistive listening devices. Fan service representatives, uniformed in distinctive straw hats and light blue shirts, will be stationed at each gate throughout the season in order to assist fans. Fan services can be reached at any time on a game day by calling (323) 224-2611 or by texting 69050 using keyword LADFAN followed by the guest's location and comments.
Executive Chef Jason Tingley and the culinary team are excited to satisfy the hunger of Dodger fans with a selection of rustic California flavors, beloved fan favorites and fresh new concepts.
Throughout the stadium, there's something for every Dodger fan, including choices from classic ballpark fare to unique specialty items. Legendary Dodger Dogs are available throughout the concourse while specialty, custom creations like the Home Stand Hot Dogs, featuring local ingredients reflecting the visiting team's hometown flavors, can be found at the Extreme Loaded Hot Dog stands. In an offering of lighter fare, portable carts around the stadium and the premium Club Marketplace serve up light and flavorful selections, including handmade sushi, sandwiches and salads, along with gluten-free and vegan vegetarian options.
Other exciting flavors making their concessions debut this season are the LA Extreme Bacon Wrapped Dog, a twist on an LA street cart favorite available at the Extreme Loaded Hot Dog stands and the Major League Nachos Helmet, showcasing 64 ounces of delicious crispy tortilla chips topped with all the fixins, available on field, loge and reserve levels. Suite holders will be able to experience new dishes such as the Chicken and Shrimp Skewers, the Sunset Sandwich and Southwest Tostada Salad, while rotating Chef's Tables will tantalize taste buds in club dining areas.
New outdoor dining destinations include Think Blue BBQ, where fans can feast on house-smoked creations like the BBQ Beef Brisket sandwich or mouthwatering Grilled Turkey Legs and Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria featuring classic Italian-inspired fare with options of pizza by the slice made with fresh dough and flavorful Italian sausage with peppers and onions. Dodger fans can additionally quench their thirst at one of the two new Bullpen Overlook Bars, serving up a variety of cocktails, like the Blue Heaven frozen margarita and array of foreign and domestic beers, wines and spirits, while taking in views of both home and visitor bullpens, thanks to a partnership with Anheuser-Busch.
In its continued support of the LA community, Dodger Stadium will align its outreach with Levy Cares initiatives by donating food to the Mission Food Bank following each home game. Additionally, the culinary team will proudly support our soldiers by donating food and beverage service in a premium suite to servicemen and women throughout the season, as part of the Wounded Warrior Project.
To further engage Dodgers fans and provide a top notch guest experience, Chef Tingley and his team will roll out special initiatives this season, including a 4th of July picnic and specialty cooking classes, along with themed menus and custom tastings in the Stadium Club. Located on each level of the stadium are detailed maps for dining destinations and concession stand information, making navigating fans to their favorite eats a breeze. Additionally, throughout the 2014 season, fans will have the opportunity to win various food packages by tweeting their seat and submitting photos of themselves at Dodger Stadium using #DodgerEats.
Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF)
During the 2014 season and starting Opening Day, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) will hold 32 in-stadium silent auctions at Friday and Sunday home games and other promotional nights, located by the Vin Scully Press Box on the club level. At each auction fans, have the opportunity to bid on more than 25 items including autographed baseballs, photos, jerseys and Kids-Take-The-Field experiences. The LADF auction on Opening Day will end at 2:45 p.m. Items up for bid include a Yasiel Puig autographed baseball and a Clayton Kershaw autographed Dodger jersey. All proceeds will benefit the LADF. Donations will support LADF programs and provide assistance to community efforts in the area of Education and Literacy, Health and Wellness and Sports and Recreation.
The Dodgers have a new Team Store located in the left field pavilion plaza area and a New Era Store located in the right field pavilion plaza area. These plaza areas also feature new Hello Kitty locations. Two other new retail stores are an Exclusive Majestic Store on the left field reserve level and a new Majestic Store at the Lexus Dugout Club lobby. The loge level features a Nike team store on the left field side along with an American Needle store at section 151. A 47brand store is on the right field Loge side along with a small New Era store at section 150. The official team store located on the Top Deck now houses a custom shop where you can customize hats, bats and jerseys. Dodger Stadium official team stores remain the most affordable retail location to purchase Dodger merchandise.
The Dodgers' official social media accounts, ranked first in MLB in 2013 in engagement per fan, will use official hashtags #ITFDB, "It's Time for Dodger baseball," and #Dodgers on Opening Day. #ITFDB content will be promoted across the Dodgers' official social media platforms including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Google + and Vine. The Dodgers' Wi-Fi network, also now in place, will help facilitate social media engagement.
Transportation and Parking
The Dodger Stadium Express, a complimentary shuttle service from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to Dodger Stadium, will operate early on Opening Day starting at 10:00 a.m. through 45 minutes after the game. The Dodger Stadium Express will begin at Union Station picking up Dodger fans before the game at the Patsaouras Bus Plaza adjacent to the east portal of Union Station and continue to Dodger Stadium via Sunset Blvd. and Cesar Chavez Avenue. Dodger game day tickets will be honored as payment to ride the Dodger Stadium Express.
Last season, the Dodger Stadium Express bus service included a dedicated bus lane on Sunset Boulevard to Dodger Stadium. This year, a second dedicated bus lane along Sunset Blvd. leaving Dodger Stadium will be put into service. Fans are encouraged to use the many transportation alternatives that serve Union Station that will connect them to the Dodger Stadium Express, a service offered for the fifth consecutive year by Metro. Fans can find specific route and schedule information by visiting www.metro.net or calling 323.GO.METRO (323.466.3876). Dodger Stadium transportation and parking information can be found by visiting www.dodgers.com/parking.
Fans are also reminded that in an effort to keep Dodger Stadium family-friendly, tailgating is prohibited and alcoholic beverages may not be consumed in Dodger Stadium parking lots. Anyone in violation of this policy may be asked to leave the premises, be subject to citation or arrest by LAPD and/or be banned from future events at the stadium.
The Dodgers offer one of the best values in Los Angeles and all of sports with season tickets starting at $14 per seat per game. The Dodgers sold three million tickets before Opening Day for the first time in franchise history and have set an all-time organization record with 35,000 full season equivalent seats sold to date. Opening Day is sold out. Fans can attend Opening Day with the purchase of a season ticket plan or a 30-game mini plan. More information on season tickets can be found by visiting www.dodgers.com/seasontickets
The Dodgers' home opener against the Giants will be televised on SportsNet LA, the exclusive new 24/7 TV network of the Los Angeles Dodgers, with live pre-game programming starting at 12:00 p.m. with "Leadoff LA" and "Access SportsNet: Dodgers." The inaugural Spanish-language telecast will be the Dodgers' home opener on Friday. Time Warner Cable customers can watch live Spanish-language Dodger game telecasts in high definition on channel 382 in Los Angeles, 324 in the Desert Cities and 664 in Barstow. For more information about SportsNet LA's Spanish-language games and standard definition channel numbers, visit the "ESPAÑOL" tab on www.sportsnetla.com. The network will also offer Korean-language Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) for all live Dodger games on its air this season, a first for any MLB team. The Dodgers have partnered with Radio Korea, the team's Korean radio broadcast partner, to provide the service, which will also start with the Dodgers' home opener on Friday. For more information about SportsNet LA or to demand the network, visit www.ineedmydodgers.com or www.quieromisdodgers.com or call 1-844-I-NEED-MY (1-844-463-3369).
The Dodgers radio broadcast is on AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles and on Univision America KTNQ 1020 AM in Spanish.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.